Fact #1 - Kirk Ferentz needs to grow a pair. My first thought was with the 20 yard FG was go for it from the 2 yard line. Worst case, ISU has it around their own 1 yard line. I won't fault him for taking the points there though. Where I do fault him is two other plays. 1) The end of regulation with over a minute and two timeouts. We play for overtime. As well as we were stopping the ISU offense, this made no sense. Try for 3 and end it there. 2) Still unable to stop the ISU offense, we go for 3 in the third OT. 4th and 6 might be excuseable. After a 5 yard penalty and 4th and 1, it is not. Go for the first down because again you have not been able to get a stop without a turnover.
Fact #2 - Ken O'Keefe either needs to stop being so predictable with his offense, or let him pursue greener pastures. I heard Indiana was looking at him for their head coaching job last time around. When Iowa was pinned deep it was the predictable run, run, pass that ISU sacked. Just keep pounding the ball and it will eventually get snuffed out. Coker got some big runs, but eventually it died down. This caused Vandenberg to never really get into a rhythm for throwing, just for handing it off. He started making better passes late, but it was too late. The only intelligent thing the FSN commentators were saying the entire game was that we should be throwing it deep to take advantage of the 6 inch height advantage our receivers had on their corners. We tried it once early. It worked. We stopped trying to do it. It's not a normal part of our playbook, and God forbid we try to do something that is working on a given day on that given day.
Fact #3 - Norm Parker needs to adapt or retire. Throughout the game we kept making Steele look better with our pass coverage. The middle is always soft. Anybody in the Big Ten knows that, and that's why we can never win the conference out right. Ferentz is able to recruit high caliber players to cover up for the deficiencies on both sides of the ball. But when we don't cover the middle, and even give receivers a 5+ yard cushion when the ball is on the 4 yard line, we're not going to get many stops. Add that to not knowing how to cover an option, and you're doomed against Steele.
Fact #4 - Kenan Davis dropped an easy ball that would have likely led to a third OT TD. Upset about that too, but can't and won't fault him as much as the coaches that put us in that situation in the first place.
Fact #5 - Steele did show he is the real deal today. He made it a close game, and Iowa coaching put them over the top. He'll make sure Iowa doesn't have an easy time with the Cyclones next year in Iowa City next year too. He could get his team bowl eligible this year, and give the top of the Big 12 some issues. I don't know if they're good enough to do what they did today week after week because we all know ISU gets pumped up more for Iowa than anybody else, but the tools are there to get to probably 7 wins this year. And next year, they should get there and beyond in the Mountain West or where ever they end up.
Congrats ISU, and Iowa get to work. I'm getting a bit worried about our own bowl eligibility right now.